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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Responds to Dance Video Critics With More Dancing


WASHINGTON — Just one day in her job, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) set her own Twitter record.

A video of her dancing outside her new House office became her most-retweeted post — more than 90,000 retweets — in about five hours, according to Twitter. The video, made by her office, registered 6.45 million views.

She also surpasses Nancy Pelosi, the new House speaker, in total Twitter followers. Ocasio-Cortez has 1.88 million followers to Pelosi’s 1.85 million.

“I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous. Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too!” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in the caption of the video.

Her response stems from footage unearthed from her college days, advanced by some rightward voices on social media, to try to disparage or embarrass her. The video was made when she was a student at Boston University, and actually has been posted on YouTube since 2010. It now has almost 2.4 million views.

The caveat to all this is that the critics of the video were hardly well known. It wasn’t as if Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy was railing against her dance moves. In fact, most reports peg the source as an anonymous Twitter account, @AnonymousQ1776, that has since been deleted. But it’s just the type of faux controversy that gets some cable news notice.

Few recent freshmen representatives have been able to command the level of publicity and attention that Ocasio-Cortez has received.

It was driven at first by her unexpected defeat of Joseph Crowley, a member of Democratic leadership, in last year’s primary, and then by some of her own criticisms of fellow Democrats and a sit-in in November at Pelosi’s office.

She’s lately been a fixation for some on the right — which has been struggling when it comes to reaching and commanding support among millennials, particularly those veering toward Democratic socialism. Ocasio-Cortez is just 29 years old, the youngest member of Congress.

Other freshmen are playing it a bit cooler in their initial days when it comes to standing out and speaking out, adhering to the idea that the newcomers should be seen but not heard. But Ocasio-Cortez is carrying her knack for social media, which includes creatively responding to trolls, to her elected life. On Sunday, she’ll be profiled on “60 Minutes,” where she will talk about her green agenda for zero carbon emissions, which may even mean a top tax rate of up to 70%.

Anderson Cooper said it sounded like a radical agenda compared to today’s politics. “Abraham Lincoln made the radical decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the radical decision to embark on establishing programs like Social Security. That is radical,” she responded.

She also didn’t let a moment go unanswered from Thursday, when she voted for Pelosi for speaker. Some Republicans booed.

“Don’t hate me cause you ain’t me, fellas,” she responded.

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